Country Specific Advice


If you are boating abroad and you find something is different or come across something new, please let us know by emailing

A vessel must comply with the regulations of its flag state wherever it is in the world. In addition when cruising the waters of another country (as explained on the page Law of the Sea and the Coastal State), that country can require you to comply with its national legislation (as applicable to foreign flagged vessels).

The UK's relationship with the EU changed from 1 January 2021. As a result you now have an obligation to report to UK Border Force when moving into and out of the UK by recreational boat. You should expect greater scrutiny and requirements to report on arrival and departure, when moving between the UK and the EU and/or the Schengen area by recreational boat. 

For each of the countries listed, answers to questions that regularly come up are provided. The information applies to UK registered boats owned by private individuals who are resident in the UK, which are taken abroad by them on a short visit. If you choose to base your boat abroad, have both property and your boat in a country, become resident abroad,  cruise a company-owned yacht or use your vessel commercially (including offering it for charter), the rules may differ considerably from those applicable to private vessels on short visits. Specialist advice should be sought from the authorities (or a lawyer) in the country concerned.

Different countries and even local areas within countries will have their own regulations. It is essential that you find out what these are, as failure to pay taxes for example can result in significant fines when the authorities become aware of your non-payment. Not knowing the regulations is no defence for non-compliance and you may find that in addition to the national regulations there are local variations or applications you need to be aware of. To do this you will need to contact the relevant national and local authorities.

Although the RYA endeavours to provide information on foreign rules and regulations where it is available, the RYA is not in a position to give comprehensive advice on matters relating to non-British registered boats, immigration matters, residency abroad or boats that become subject to domestic legislation in the coastal state they are visiting.

Some regulations are more strictly applied than others and local interpretation may be more or less rigid than stated. When visiting, if you find that regulations or practices differ from those described in these pages or should you find yourself thinking "I wonder if the RYA is aware of this?" please email your experiences to

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information the RYA provides relating to boating abroad, no responsibility is accepted for the results of any errors or omissions. 


Channel Islands

Useful websites

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Lonely Planet
Weekly Piracy Report